G’day Jimmy / Carol,
I thought you might be able to use this story somewhere. Regards, John Hendry
First Class Fishing 22nd November, 2007
Spencer Yachts is the largest (and many would say the finest) custom sport fish builder on the East Coast of the USA. Company President Paul Spencer ran charter boats for many years and built a reputation as a legendary tournament fisherman before setting out to build boats that have become renowned for their style, speed and fishability.
So it was with some degree of trepidation that we welcomed aboard Paul and his son Daniel on their first trip “Down Under” to take the measure of Aussie boats and the giant black marlin of the Great Barrier Reef. While we were confident Shaka would measure up, we knew we were in the one of the worst heavy tackle seasons ever experienced on the GBR and had some concerns about delivering the first class fishing they had come for.
We were able to get Paul on to one that we called 250lb and although the thrill of fighting a black marlin of any size is not to be dismissed lightly, we knew he and Daniel hadn’t come all this way for small fish. It was time to bring out the heavy artillery.
We managed to pick up fresh bait in the form of this 25lb Spanish mackerel to use on our skipping rig. Paul and Daniel looked askance at the monster, but we knew what we were after. With Daniel on strike, we towed it all day and only after 5pm when we were considering replacing it did we get the result we were looking for. With the line literally in Daniel’s hand as he retrieved our offering, a giant black erupted from the wash and attacked.
Battle was joined and Daniel was soon engaged in the fight of his life. Time and time again he got the peg mark onto the reel only to see it stripped off. Over a period of two hours he had the fish to the leader at least five times. By now it was well and truly dark, with the fish jumping spectacularly in the moonlight. Daniel was heard to say he would never yell at one of his charter anglers again.
We have a few of our own legends on the GBR and when it comes to wiring big fish, our first mate Charles (CP) Perry is the best of the best. To that point CP had wired 28 black marlin that were weighed in at over 1,000lb and he now applied his skills to Daniel’s benefit.
Daniel’s persistence finally paid off with a fish that weighed in at 1,120lb making it the second heaviest marlin taken on the GBR to date in the 2007 season (and CP’s 29th black marlin weighing in over the mark).
Not bad for your first black marlin! I think we can say that Shaka and the GBR have delivered again.
Ed Note - Thanks for the report John. In 2010 our series winners will join you on the Great Barrier Reef for their "World Series Fish Off". Hello to CP from his friends in the VI!